If you want your website to rank in search engines, you need to understand SEO. And if you want your SEO strategy to be successful, you need to apply best practices in on-page technical SEO. Confused? Overwhelmed by the tech jargon? This article is for you.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- The importance of on-page technical SEO
- Understanding on-page technical SEO
- On-page technical vs. content SEO
- Optimizing on-page technical SEO with Webflow
- How to monitor on-page technical SEO
- How to audit on-page technical SEO
- On-page technical SEO case studies
- Slam’s on-page technical SEO offerings
Here at Slam Media Lab, we’ve seen first-hand the many SEO benefits for small business, nonprofit organizations, and anyone looking to ensure their website shows up on the screens of their target audience.
Often, companies like small businesses and nonprofits are unfamiliar with the importance of on-page technical SEO–especially if their website has been online for years. That’s why our objective as an agency is to increase available knowledge and help organizations stay competitive with improved search rankings.
In addition to helping organizations of all sizes with their SEO strategy, we also offer a technical SEO audit template for DIY enthusiasts.
Whether you’re hoping to do things yourself, or interested in working with an award-winning web design agency, read on for a comprehensive intro to on-page technical SEO.
Understanding On-Page Technical SEO
Search engine rankings are increasingly focused on prioritizing websites that offer a positive user experience. To improve the various aspects of your site’s usability, you need to understand and apply best practices in on-page technical SEO.
In this section, we’ll explore:
- Technical SEO 101
- How crawling works
- Understanding indexing
These three topics should provide you with a good knowledge base for working with on-page technical SEO. Also, if you find the tech language in this section confusing, check out our free SEO terms guide.
Technical SEO 101
On-page technical SEO refers to applying best practices that will ensure search engines can easily understand and index your website.
Best practices in on-page technical SEO include:
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to protect user data
- Well-organized hierarchy, logical URL structure, and internal linking strategy
- XML sitemap listing all important pages
- Robots.txt file indicating which pages or sections should not be indexed
- Structured data markup to help search engines understand page content
- Unique content without duplicates
- Use of canonical URL tags signaling which version of a page should be indexed
Also, search engines favor fast-loading websites that are easy to navigate on mobile devices, so you should take care to prioritize website speed, performance, and responsiveness in your strategy and design.
Likewise, it’s crucial to perform regular audits of page experience and Core Web Vitals, which measure the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a site. Regularly checking for crawl errors and fixing broken links or inaccessible pages is also a best practice in on-page technical SEO.
Our technical SEO audit template makes it easy to apply best practices in on-page technical SEO.
How Crawling Works
Search engines routinely send bots to explore and index website content. This process is referred to as crawling, and it’s designed to facilitate efficient indexing (something we’ll cover more in the next section).
The crawling process begins when search engine bots access your site’s robots.txt file to identify crawl permissions.
With crawl permissions confirmed, the bot then navigates through your website’s pages, following links and analyzing HTML elements for relevance and structure.
Effective on-page SEO ensures crawl ability by:
- Optimizing URL structures
- Employing proper tags
- Fixing crawl errors
Your pages are more likely to rank in search engines if bots can access and index your website content. So, if you want your on-page technical SEO to be effective, optimizing for crawlability is a must.
First, search engines crawl a website. Then, they organize and store information about its pages in a database. This process is called indexing, and it’s an important part of on-page technical SEO.
During the indexing process, search engines analyze the following variables:
The analyzed information is then organized into an index to facilitate quick retrieval of relevant results during user searches.
To improve your website’s visibility and potential for higher rankings in SERPs, try using descriptive titles and meta tags. This is especially important for small business local SEO, which relies on local search results.
For instance, if you own a restaurant in Philadelphia, you need it to rank high in the Philly area–not California. When designing your restaurant website, you can improve indexing by incorporating location-specific meta tags and local keywords in your content to ensure the pages show up in local search results.
On-Page Technical SEO vs. Content SEO
An effective SEO strategy involves combining different variables into a holistic approach. To ensure your strategy lands, you need to understand the difference between technical SEO and content SEO.
In this section, we’ll address the differences between the two and help you understand how to address both structural and content-related aspects of your website’s search engine visibility.
Ultimately, integrating technical and content SEO strategies will improve your website performance and increase the likelihood of achieving higher rankings in search engine results.
Technical SEO focuses on website infrastructure. The goal is to ensure your website is:
- Performing well
By focusing on aspects like crawlability, you’ll ensure search engine bots can efficiently navigate your site. Likewise, indexation will ensure relevant pages are included in search databases.
To guarantee great website performance, you should address issues like:
- Page speed
- Mobile responsiveness
- Secure HTTPS protocols
- Optimized URL structures
- XML sitemaps
- Canonical tags to prevent duplicate content
A well-optimized technical foundation will improve your website’s search rankings, user experience, and overall online presence.
To assess the effectiveness of your technical SEO strategy, check out our technical SEO audit template.
To optimize website content for search engines and user experience, you need a strong content SEO strategy that integrates holistically with your on-page technical SEO. You can achieve this by incorporating keywords, improving content readability, and ensuring your content aligns with user intent.
Key components of content SEO include:
- Keyword research
- Quality content
- Descriptive titles, headers, and meta tags
- Optimized images and URLs
- Content tailored to match users’ search queries
For example, let’s say you’re designing a nonprofit SEO strategy for an animal welfare organization. You’ve done your keyword research and determined that search terms like “animal rescue” or “wildlife conservation” are relevant to your target audience’s intent. To maximize your visibility and impact with content SEO, you can develop high-quality, informative blog posts and educational resources to address your audience’s interests.
If you’re wondering how to choose keywords for SEO, here are five best practices to follow:
- Understand your audience
- Define your goals
- Research your niche
- Use keyword research tools
- Create a keyword map
By following these steps, you can develop a targeted and effective keyword strategy that will improve your content SEO efforts and increase your website’s visibility in search engine results.
For more on nonprofit SEO, check out our guide to what a nonprofit website should include.
On-Page Technical SEO Optimization with Webflow
In our humble (and well-researched) opinion, Webflow is the best preferred CMS for optimizing on-page technical SEO. Webflow is a no-code platform that excels at allowing users to design, build, and launch responsive websites without extensive tech know-how.
As a Webflow SEO consultant agency, we recommend Webflow for its features that contribute to SEO optimization:
- Flexibility and design control
- Clean HTML markup
- Responsive design
- Customizable meta tags
- SSL security
- Third-party SEO integrations
These Webflow SEO capabilities are built into your website from the get-go, making the platform a great choice for website design and development.
If you’re wondering how to choose the right CMS for website design, check out these Slam guides comparing Webflow to the top platforms on the market:
- Webflow vs Wordpress 2024
- Webflow vs Wix
- Webflow vs Contentful
- Webflow vs Elementor
- Squarespace vs Webflow
- Editor X or Webflow
Also, while our technical SEO audit template is designed to work with any website, we suggest combining it with Webflow for maximum impact.
How to Monitor On-Page Technical SEO
In this section, we’ll cover four tools you can use to monitor on-page technical SEO:
Another great tool to consider is Google Analytics, which we comprehensively discuss in our guide to integrating Webflow and Google Analytics. Be sure to bookmark the page and check it out once you’re done reading this article!
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a powerful tool for monitoring and improving on-page technical SEO. As a free web service provided by Google, it allows website owners to optimize their site’s presence in search results. It also offers several tools to address technical SEO issues.
We suggest following these ten steps to monitor your on-page technical SEO using GSC:
- Verify site ownership by adding a meta tag or uploading an HTML file
- Analyze the "Performance" report for clicks, impressions, and CTR
- Inspect URL coverage to identify indexing issues
- Review "Core Web Vitals" for loading performance
- Check "Mobile Usability" for mobile-friendliness
- Address errors in the "Coverage" report
- Submit XML sitemap for effective indexing
- Set up performance alerts for changes
- Use the "URL Inspection" tool for detailed diagnostics
- Monitor the "Security & Manual Actions" section for potential issues
By regularly addressing these aspects, you’ll ensure a well-optimized website and improved visibility in search engine results.
Chrome Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for assessing web page quality and performance. Integrated into Google Chrome DevTools, its job is to audit websites for performance, accessibility, and SEO best practices.
To use Chrome Lighthouse for monitoring on-page technical SEO, follow these five steps:
- Access Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools via the “Audits” tab
- Select the categories you want to audit (SEO, accessibility, performance, etc.)
- Click “Run audits” to analyze the selected categories
- Examine the generated report, paying attention to SEO-specific recommendations
- Address any issues highlighted in the SEO audit and implement its recommendations
By leveraging Chrome Lighthouse, you’ll gain insights into your website’s on-page technical SEO. This will help you identify areas for improvement and implement the necessary changes to improve your page’s search engine visibility.
PageSpeed Insights is a web performance tool by Google that assesses the speed and usability of a webpage on mobile and desktop devices. We love this tool because it provides a performance score along with suggestions to optimize and improve your page loading times, which will ultimately lead to a better user experience and higher search rankings.
To monitor your on-page technical SEO with PageSpeed Insights, follow these five steps:
- Enter your webpage URL in the PageSpeed Insights search bar and click “Analyze”
- Examine your site’s server response times, image optimization, and resource loading
- Address high-priority recommendations impacting user experience and SEO
- Implement suggestions to optimize images and leverage browser caching
- Assess the mobile performance insights
This tool is great for identifying and resolving performance-related issues that may affect your website’s search engine rankings. We recommend making it a core part of your toolkit!
Ahrefs is a comprehensive search engine optimization tool that provides insights into things like website performance, backlink profiles, keyword rankings, and competitor analysis.
To monitor your on-page technical SEO with Ahrefs, follow these ten steps:
- Use the “Site Audit” feature to identify on-page issues like broken links, duplicate content, crawl errors, etc.
- Review the list of crawled pages to ensure important pages are indexed
- Analyze HTML tags for relevant keywords, including titles and meta descriptions
- Check the page load speed and make note of performance issues
- Identify and manage redirects
- Analyze competitor pages to identify areas for improvement
- Assess your backlink profile to ensure the quality and relevance of incoming links
- Identify content gaps and opportunities for improvement
- Monitor keyword rankings over time
- Set up alerts for changes in backlink profiles, rankings, site health, etc.
By leveraging Ahref, you’ll have everything you need to perform a thorough analysis of your website’s on-page technical SEO.
On-Page Technical SEO Case Studies
As a website design agency specializing in SEO, we’ve helped countless clients improve their website search rankings.
In this section, we’ll take a look at three on-page technical SEO case studies:
We hope these examples serve as inspiration for your website goals!
Lunarsol is a creative studio that collaborates with social justice movements, art organizations, nonprofit foundations, and any organization invested in using compelling visual art to advance social change.
As a creative services firm that prioritizes equity, solidarity, and trust, Lunarsol Studios needed to reach a target audience with the same values and goals. That’s why they contacted us about a website redesign that would tell their unique story through branding, art direction, and on-page SEO optimization.
We helped this great organization reach its audience by employing technical SEO strategies like improved navigation, image compression, page structure, and heading hierarchy. You can check out our Lunarsol case study to learn more about how we made it happen.
Ukraine Rises is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides safety, protection, and in-country care to victims of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The organization’s mission is to help Ukrainian citizens reclaim their lives and rebuild their nation.
The ongoing impact of Ukraine Rises includes:
- 2,000+ power banks and string light units distributed throughout hot zones
- 16 tons of shelf-stable food delivered to the Kharkiv region
- 100+ children and their parents given psychological support via COPEKITs
- $135,000+ in grants to Ukrainian partner nonprofits
- …and more!
To continue their life-saving work, Ukraine Rises needed to reach as many potential supporters as possible through Internet search results. Here at Slam, we’re proud to have supported their efforts through on-page technical SEO revisions, including image compression, site structure, heading hierarchy, and metadata.
Kai XR is a virtual learning platform that aims to bridge the digital divide by giving students hands-on access to the technologies they need to prepare for future careers.
The organization designs accessible learning resources that can be used with any device, making mobile responsiveness a top priority.
Here at Slam, we understand the importance of responsive design to a site’s searchability. We improved their on-page technical SEO by incorporating sitemap structuring, image compression, and metadata. You can read more about how we did it here.
Slam’s On-Page Technical SEO Offerings
As an award-winning B2B website design agency, optimizing our websites for searchability is a non-negotiable part of our services. From boosting website speed and performance to setting up canonical URLs, we do it all so our clients don’t have to.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, we’ve created some tools to help optimize your Webflow website:
And if you’re thinking of launching an SEO-focused business, check out our guide on how to start an SEO agency.
We also offer small business SEO packages to nonprofits and businesses of all sizes looking to boost their site’s UX, functionality, and visibility.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation with one of our SEO experts today!